We strive to protect and preserve one day at a time :)
We, the owner/managers of Zomba Forest Lodge, set up Zomba TREEZ (The Reforestation of the Environment and Ecosystem of Zomba) in 2014 and have been working with local communities and the Forestry Department to reforest over 18 hectares (~22,000 trees), along streams on the south western slopes of Zomba Plateau.
The project started off being about reforesting and protecting water catchment areas but we soon learned that it wasn't just about tree planting. Over half our budget goes into fire prevention work which includes creating fire breaks to protect areas from fires and allowing the natural regeneration of trees, sponsoring football and netball teams to help with firefighting and maintenance of the planted trees, paying patrols to provide early warnings of fires, providing tools to help with all the previously mentioned activities.
In 2018, we held our first Environmental Awareness concert, held at Nankhunda Primary School, for the local communities, with Malawian pop star Moses Mkwawa as the main act. We also held our first Run4Reforestation, a sporting event aimed at raising awareness about the issues of deforestation and environmental degradation, and funds for TREEZ.
In 2019, we added a 'Battle of the Bands" to the Environmental Awareness concert, with 8 schools competing for the best written song about the environment, judged by that year's headline star act Jay-Jay C amongst others artists and recorded and aired by Zodiak Radio, a national radio station.
We also held the second Run4Reforestation to which we added a sustainability fair showcasing environmentally minded organizations and the Blantyre Farmer's Market joined us in making the day such a special event.
For 2020 we are also planning on watch towers on the Plateau to be manned thoughout the dry season to help us respond to fires faster. We will also be creating a new tree nursery to complement the nursery created in 2019 on the Plateau, and planting trees along the streams as well as working on raising awareness through the recording and distribution of environmental songs and our Environmental Awareness concert held in July and the planning of another Run4 Reforestation combined with an even bigger Sustainability Fair.
New this year, is an environmental education programme, to be taught in 8 of the primary schools neighbouring the Plateau.
Watch this space, as we continue to try to find means to protect, preserve and educate :)